The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Conversations about conservation
Conversations about conservation
Sophia Lou, Staff Writer • February 20, 2024

Junior Cassidy Golden and her APES class trek through the forest, observing the switchgrass, yellow Indian grass, little blue stem, and big blue...

Lipstick and Ledgers
Aadhya Yanamadala and Shifa IrfanJanuary 25, 2024

Women in Finance: A History  It can be perceived that women have historically been pushed out of the financial world. However, that notion...

Deborah Monahan and Maria Cendejas pose for a photo in the midst of the chaos of their day.
Wonderful Women in Maintenance
Melinda Hu and Sarah MoskowitzJanuary 22, 2024

When walking into Hockaday each morning, we are lucky to be surrounded by the impeccable cleanliness of our facilities and buildings. Kathy...

Junior takes the digital SAT.
Switching up the SAT
December 15, 2023
Graphic by Carys Braun 25
Pour Choices
December 15, 2023

Weighing Your Options


Character. Courtesy. Scholarship. Athletics. The cornerstones of our school. At Hockaday, we are encouraged to strive for excellence. But sometimes, we want to strive so badly in academics that we are willing to sacrifice our passions in return.

It is a common occurrence that students are unable to enroll in certain courses due to a conflict in their schedule. This especially affects students in Fine Arts. As someone who is involved in three Fine Arts at Hockaday, this is definitely relatable.

I was unable to participate in dance at Hockaday up until this year due to required in class health courses for a quarter. In addition, I participate in studio art outside of school because I am unable to fit the AP Studio Art class into my schedule. Hockaday requires students to take three courses before they are allowed to in enter the AP level. This is unlike most schools which have a policy that allows students to place into levels based on their portfolio. As a result, I must juggle the requirements of both my in- and out-of-school fine arts in addition to sports.

It all comes down to this question: What’s more important? We are forced to consider what needs to be prioritized in order to get into college. Often at a school of overachievers like Hockaday, we end up prioritizing academic courses. While this isn’t always a negative, it definitely becomes one when we start sacrificing what we love.

Unlike most high schools, Hockaday does not weigh classes, meaning that an Advanced Placement course is worth just as must as a regular course on your transcript. The purpose behind this is to encourage students to choose courses based on interest rather than extra credit. However, this generally makes little difference in the students’ decisions.

It has become a seemingly innate tendency for people to make these academically oriented decisions in hopes of “bettering their future.” But when did Ela Hockaday declare that scholarship was the most important cornerstone? Exactly. She didn’t.

She intended for us to work hard to not only be great scholars but also to strive for excellence in all our pursuits.

Because of the schedule restrictions put in place, many people are unable to focus more on the classes or fine arts they are really interested in. But this overbearing desire to achieve in an academic sense is what is truly holding us back.

As a highschooler in her junior year, the year that is infamously known as “the one that really counts,” I definitely understand the pressure to succeed academically. But the truth is, we don’t have to give up what we love in the process.

In fact, there is a term that has become prevalent at Southern Methodist University that I find enlightening. A “smartist” is an example of the kind of candidate that SMU admissions states the university looks for in applicants.

This is someone who not only presents academic achievement but also shows interest and talent in a fine art. SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts like many top universities, including Yale University and Duke University, seeks out candidates who exhibit excellence beyond the classroom. To put it simply, it is not all about academics anymore.

Although academics are definitely important, they aren’t everything. Pressure to succeed can be beneficial, but we cannot let it deter our future success. If you love something, pursue it. Don’t take AP Calculus BC just because it will “look better” on your transcript. Take it because you have a love for math. Seek out the things you love, and success will surely follow.

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